Insider’s Guide to the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee – The National Zoo and Opening Ceremony

Spellers and their families enjoyed a fabulous barbecue at the National Zoo today. There were a variety of activities for everyone to enjoy, such as hula-hooping and dancing. Caricature artists and face-painters were on hand this year as well! Of course, we could also roam around the beautiful zoo at our leisure and enjoy all of the wonderful animals. This was a great opportunity to socialize with the other spellers and collect more autographs in my Bee Keeper.

This evening all the spellers attended a grand Opening Ceremony.  We were introduced to Scripps Spelling Bee staff, volunteers, and Bee officials including the pronouncer, Dr. Jacques Bailly, and the head judge, Mrs. Mary Brooks. Tomorrow is the first official day of competition; it begins in the morning with the preliminary written exam (Round 1). On Wednesday, Round 2 and Round 3 will take place on stage and will be live streamed on ESPN3. If you are interested in watching Rounds 2 and 3, please go to for the broadcasting schedule.